(Reuters) - The massacre of 16 villagers by a U.S. soldier has triggered angry calls for an immediate American exit from Afghanistan as Washington tries to negotiate a long-term presence to keep the country from sliding into chaos again.
Just days before Sunday's attack, Kabul and Washington had made significant progress in negotiations on a Strategic Partnership Agreement that would allow American advisers and special forces to stay in Afghanistan after foreign combat troops leave at the end of 2014.
But securing a full deal may be far more difficult now after the shooting spree in villages in the southern province of Kandahar, the Taliban heartland, which killed mostly women and children.
"This could delay the signing of the Strategic Partnership Agreement," an Afghan government official told Reuters.
The attack, the latest American public relations disaster in Afghanistan, may be a turning point for the United States in a costly and unpopular war now in its eleventh year. Read More